For many families, Halloween signals the start of the holiday season. But many parents worry about keeping their children safe while also allowing them to have fun trick or treating. Knowing a few simple safety tips can help you ensure this Halloween is full of spooky good memories and not frightening trips to the emergency room. To help keep your family safe while trick or treating, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests the following:
Halloween safety begins long before the night of. You should already be thinking about your child’s safety when you are choosing Halloween costumes. Some costumes add safety risks that can be avoided. Here are a few costume safety tips:
- Make sure all costumes, wigs, and accessories are fire-resistant.
- Apply reflective tape to your child’s costumes and treat bags.
- Try to make costumes bright by choosing light colors and incorporating glow sticks into costumes.
- Do not use decorative contact lenses. Doing so without a prescription is both dangerous and illegal.
- If using Halloween makeup, ensure makeup is non-toxic and test on a small area before fully applying.
- Choose costumes that are short enough to prevent tripping hazards. Children should wear their normal tennis shoes and be comfortable walking in their costumes.
- Avoid face masks as they can obstruct the senses. Face masks can obstruct a child’s vision or hearing. They can also block the nose or mouth and obstruct their breathing.
Using Street Smarts
Here’s a scary fact: children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than they are on any other day of the year. Here are a few safety tips for the street:
- Avoid running.
- Stick to the sidewalk.
- Everyone, both adults and children, should carry a flashlight.
- Avoid distractions. Using a cell phone while walking creates a distraction and can be dangerous.
- Children under the age of 12 should always be accompanied by a responsible adult. It is best to stay in groups for greater visibility and safety.
- If older children are going out alone, make sure they stay with a large group of friends, know an approved route, and check infrequently.
- Cross the street safely. Always use street corners and crosswalks. Never cross in-between parked cars. If there is a car coming, make eye contact with the driver before crossing.
Skip The Tricks, Go Straight For Treats
It might be called trick or treating, but you want to ensure your children make it through the night without encountering any tricks that put their safety at risk. Here are few safety tips to keep in mind when it comes to treats:
- Children should never enter someone’s home or car.
- Only go to homes that have their porch light on. Try to stick to homes you know.
- Eat dinner before going trick or treating so children aren’t tempted to eat their candy before they get home.
- Encourage children to wait until they get home and you inspect their treats before eating any. A responsible adult should always check for any signs of tampering and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped, homemade, or other suspicious items.
- Keep food allergies in mind when accepting and inspecting treats. Children should be encouraged to take non-food treats when they are available.
Discuss Safety Concerns With Your Child’s Pediatrician
If you still have any additional concerns about your child’s safety this Halloween, discuss them with your child’s pediatrician. The board-certified pediatricians at Children’s Medical Center are happy to address any concerns parents have about protecting their children all year long. We can help you come up with a safety plan that will meet your child’s unique needs.